How do you respond to your partner when he does something that annoys you? For example, let’s say you come home from work after an incredibly long day at the office to find that your man is already asleep, and there’s a sink full of dirty dishes that aren’t going to wash themselves. How do you respond? Do you talk to your man about it? Do you let it slide, assuming he had a rough day at work? Or do you wake him up and get angry, criticizing him for being so lazy and inconsiderate?
If you go the critical route, know that your words and actions are having a negative effect on your man and your relationship. When men feel criticized, they have a tendency to believe that they can’t do anything right. This causes them to shut down and withdraw from the relationship. They stop being vulnerable and sharing their hopes, fears, and dreams with you because they don’t trust you anymore. They stop trying to make you happy because they’re convinced they can’t win.
Obviously this isn’t good for you, him, or the relationship, but this is what criticism does: it rots the relationship from the inside out. In order to stop this from happening, you have to acknowledge that you’ve been wrong and commit to doing better. You could try saying something like:
“Babe, I’ve noticed that I’ve turned into a critical bitch and I feel awful. I’ve been so harsh and I’m so, so sorry. It’s unacceptable that I make you feel judged and criticized so often, and I want you to know that I’m making a conscious effort starting today to stop for good. And to help me, I would really appreciate it if you would tell me when you start to feel criticized and I will stop immediately and put my arms around you. How does that sound?”
Once you’ve stopped criticizing your man for a while, you’ll notice him beginning to open up and be comfortable around you again. It will take time, but as long as you’re consistent with your efforts and committed to being a less critical partner, you will get your relationship on a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling track.
I want to hear from you! After reading this article, do you think you’ve been a little too critical of your man? Share your experience in the comment box below!